Lest We Forget
after reading ‘The Forgotten War’

Teach them a lesson
they’ll never forget. Hang them
high as a warning to the rest
of those black bastards.”

Teach them the worth
of a side of beef
in women, children,
men, deceased.

Teach them the arbitrary
arm of the law, one
white man worth one
hundred or more
black souls running
through the bush –
bullet holes in the back
of their charred remains.

It’s there in white
and black, as if nothing
was wrong – ad hoc campaigns
over long, long years.

Teach them the lesson
they’ll never forget.
Hang them high
as a warning to the rest.

Because
forgetting…
forgetting’s
what us whitefellas
do best.

The first stanza’s quote is a combination of two newspaper quotes from early Australian newspapers that was overheard on Radio National. The wording has only been altered for rhythm.

– SB Wright